The University of Guelph is part of a provincial initiative to inspire aboriginal youth to pursue higher education.
The “Let’s Take Our Future Further” campaign celebrates the achievements and contributions of aboriginal learners and alumni at Ontario universities, and supports current students.
The campaign was created by the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) for the province’s 20 publicly funded universities.
As part of the campaign, COU launched the website www.futurefurther.ca this week. The site contains videos and profiles of 13 role models — all current students or recent graduates — discussing how university education has affected their lives and communities.
Through a social media contest, the video gaining the most votes will win a $1,000 bursary for both the student and their on-campus aboriginal student services.
In his online profile, U of G biological sciences student Isaac Wolfe discusses his plan to attend medical school and to work on public policy issues in First Nations health and wellness.
Also involved in the campaign is Cara Wehkamp, manager of the Office of Intercultural Affairs in Student Life and U of G’s Aboriginal Resource Centre.
She sits on the COU working group responsible for the “Let’s Take Our Future Further” initiative.
“It was an honour to be part of the working group,” Wehkamp said. “I hope the campaign helps inspire learners to continue their education and see university as an attainable option to reach their educational goals.
“This collaboration highlights how Ontario universities are working to provide student-centred and culturally relevant educational opportunities for aboriginal learners.”
The COU campaign follows a report by Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which called for equitable access to post-secondary education for aboriginal students.
More information and resource kits are available online.